Economia americană se află într-un punct de inflexiune, care marchează momentul de debut al unui nou trend bullish – spune Liz Ann Sonders, Senior Vice President, Chief Investment Strategist, Charles Schwab & Co., Inc. Argumentele acesteia sunt 6: ….
- Îmbunătăţirea situaţiei de pe piaţa forţei de muncă (Improvement in the jobs picture)
- Creşterea indicilor ISM pentru sectorul manufacturier şi pentru cel non-manufacturier (The bounce in both the manufacturing and non-manufacturing ISM indices (in the case of the former, back above the 50 contraction/expansion line, after three months below it))
- Creşterea indicatorilor privind încrederea consumatorilor (The bounce in consumer confidence and sentiment readings)
- Revenirea vânzărilor de retail (Strong retail sales (even excluding gasoline), along with positive revisions to prior months)
- Datele tot mai bune venite dinspre sectorul construcţiilor de case (Much better housing data, including a five-year low in foreclosure filings)
- O evoluţie în continuare favorabilă a indicatorului ECRI’s weekly leading index (The 14th consecutive week of improvement in ECRI’s weekly leading index un indice care arată momentele de inflexiune ale economiei americane, care ia în calcul mai multe elemente precum evoluţie pieţei de capital şi a pieţelor de obligaţiuni, preţurile industriale, nivelul aplicaţiilor pentru împrumuturi ipotecare, situaţia de pe piaţa muncii, etc)
Într-un astfel de scenariu, optimist, efectele benefice se vor resimţi în mod evident în întreaga lume – atât în ceea ce priveşte evoluţia PIB cât şi evoluţia pieţelor de acţiuni.
Am putea spune aşadar că avem 6 motive pentru a intra long şi pe piaţa de la Bucureşti – mai ales că evoluţiile din ultimele 2-3 zile par a semnaliza un potenţial nou trend de creştere.
Argumentaţia pe larg şi graficele care susţin această ipoteză, în analiza “Rise Up: US Soft Patch Appears to be Ending” de pe site-ul companiei Charles Schwab Inc.
- By definition, inflection points are characterized by maximum weakness.
- Many US economic readings are again suggesting notable signs of life.
- Will the improvement be enough to offset the “fiscal cliff”?
One of the more interesting characteristics of the skepticism that has met the economic recovery over the past several years is the fact that it’s overly focused on the absolute versus the relative. By that I mean when discussing an improvement in economic data, it’s met with comments like, “yes, but we’re nowhere near prior levels of growth.” This phenomenon can be applied toward the economy overall, but also to segments, such as housing.
Inflection points versus absolute recoveries
As an analyst of the economy (and markets), I believe it’s important to look for inflection points, not to wait until the “all’s clear” bell is rung. Remember, the stock market is a leading indicator, while many of the most widely watched economic indicators are laggards (such as the unemployment rate). By definition, leading indicators will move first; the economy will follow; and lagging indicators will pick up the slack.
Also, by definition, inflection points (when moving from weakness to strength) occur at moments of maximum weakness in the data. It’s at that point that I’m generally most intrigued … not after the recovery is in full swing.
Today’s report is an attempt at inflection-point discovery. We recently experienced a third consecutive mid-year economic slowdown, all of which have had similar triggers. All three years’ soft patches were partly triggered by the eurozone crisis, and politics figured into at least two (2011’s debt ceiling debacle/Standard & Poor’s downgrade of US debt and 2012’s “fiscal cliff” concerns). This year’s also had a heavy dose of concern about China’s slowdown.
US leading economic indicators looking much better than global
In the three charts below, you can see the relative strength of the leading indicators for the United States compared to either the eurozone or China. Our growth is no great shakes, but we haven’t suffered to the same degree.
OECD Composite Leading Indicators
Source: FactSet, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), as of August 31, 2012.
It appears as if the United States is at least stabilizing, if not pulling out of its latest slump. There are even a few signs of improvements within the eurozone and China: eurozone industrial production has increased nearly 3% over the past four months (even in Greece), and China’s M2 money supply and exports both recently moved well above expectations. By no means does that mean we think US or global growth will be robust—only that the worst may be behind us for now.
I believe an appropriate comparison is between our economy today and in 1998—that was the year during which the Asian financial crisis erupted. Pessimistic assumptions about the impact on US growth did not pan out, as domestic growth was sufficient to offset the drag from overseas weakness. Like then, the aggressive easing of monetary policy could be the necessary offset to keep the weakness contained to the eurozone and China.
One of the key indicator sets I track often are diffusion indexes of dozens of high-frequency economic indicators. ISI has the most comprehensive set of indexes, which measure strength minus weakness. As such, when the lines are ascending it indicates increasing strength relative to weakness and vice versa.